Imperial Power and the Denial of Native Authority in English Colonialist Discourse

Mouloud SIBER


My paper studies the issue of power and empire in the colonialist discourses of Rudyard Kipling, Edward Morgan Forster and Joseph Conrad. It focuses on the consolidation of the English imperial power in the Orient at the expense of the native power structures. Therefore, two main interrelated issues are developed. First, the writers celebrate the encroachment of the English political power in the Orient. Second, they deny native rules by their focus on the idea of Oriental despotism and misrule as the essential factors that incite the decimation of the native rule. This process of denying the native authority is accompanied by the subject people’s obedience to the colonial authority. I have concluded my paper with drawing parallels with contemporary issues, analysing an official discourse by George W. Bush as an instance. In his “Iraq War Discourse” (2003), Bush denies native authority in Iraq and reiterates nineteenth century Orientalist discourse about Oriental despotism and its replacements by the blessings of Western “democracy”.


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